Five Canadian Mounties charged over indigenous man’s death

RCMP badge
(Image: Reuters)

Five members of Canada’s federal police force are facing charges in connection with the fatal arrest of an indigenous man nearly six years ago.

Dale Culver died in police custody on 18 July 2017 at the age of 35.

The five officers are members of the Prince George Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). The charges were filed by prosecutors in British Columbia.

Two of the Mounties are charged with manslaughter, while the other three are charged with obstructing justice.

The indictment comes almost three years after it was recommended by the province’s Independent Investigations Office (IIO).

Culver, a member of the Gitxsan and Wet’suwet’en Nations, allegedly fled officers on a bicycle in the city of Prince George.

Police say they approached him while responding to a report of a man suspiciously inspecting parked cars.

A struggle ensued when police caught up with Culver, the IIO report found, and pepper spray was used against him.

The father-of-three was put in the back of a police vehicle, where he appeared to have trouble breathing.

Paramedics were called, and Culver collapsed after being removed from the patrol car. He died in hospital.

The IIO report alleged that officers used excessive force, and that racial bias could have influenced their actions.

The officers facing manslaughter charges are Paul Ste-Marie and Jean Francois Monette, both constables.

Those facing charges of attempting to obstruct justice are Arthur Dalman and Clarence Alexander MacDonald, both constables, and Sgt Bayani Eusebio Cruz.

In 2018, the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association filed a complaint with the RCMP, claiming that Mounties had told witnesses to delete footage of the arrest.

The officers are scheduled to appear in Prince George Provincial Court on March 14.


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